Like so many of their peers, my sons are obsessed by the Harry Potter books.
No wonder, then, that while introducing them to Star Wars I came upon this happy epiphany. As I brought popcorn into the living room, I overheard one of them reading the Amazon plot pitch for The Empire Strikes Back as if it were the back of a J.K. Rowling book:
The Rebels scatter after the Empire attacks their base on the ice planet Hoth. Han Solo and Princess Leia are pursued by Imperials, while Luke trains with Jedi Master Yoda. Luke must battle Darth Vader and learns the shocking truth of his past.
The Order of the Phoenix scatters after the Dark Side attacks their castle at Number 12 Grimauld Place. Ron and Hermione are pursued by the Death Eaters, while Harry trains with master wizard Dumbledore. Harry must battle Voldemort, and learns the shocking truth of his past.
As it happens, I’m in the early stages of revamping my own next pitch. This is for a middle-grade novel that’s been on the shelf these past few years. Will I find magic with the formula below?
The fourth graders of Hershey-Kissinger Elementary scatter for summer, leaving Albert Newcastle friendless at the ex-governor’s mansion. Only Sylvie Perch, strange newcomer to the neighborhood, offers hope. Together they set out to explore the forest, confronting their darkest fears and a vicious attack against the hideaway they build there.
Probably not. But for a story without magic and light sabers, it’s a start.